Nadal kampeon

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MONACO (AP) — May bagong marka ang multi-titled na si Rafael Nadal.

Tinanghal na unang player sa Open era ang Spanish tennis star nang makamit ang ika-11 Monte Carlos Masters title sa dominanteng panalo kay Japanese Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-2, nitong Linggo (Lunes sa Manila).

“It’s unbelievable,” pahayag ni Nadal. “It’s something difficult to imagine.”

Nalagpasan ni Nadal ang marka ng karibal na si Novak Djokovic sa Masters titles.

Unang nakamit ni Nadal ang Monte Carlo title bilang isang 18-anyos na tennis protégée noong 2005. Sa torneo, nagsimula ang dominanteng kampanya ni Nadal sa clau court kung saan nakapagwagi siya sa kasalukuyan ng kabuuang 50 career title, kabilang ang 10 French Open.

“These kind of things not going to happen forever. So (I) just try to play with the full passion and with the full energy and concentration, full love for the sport until I can,” pahayag ng 31-anyo na si Nadal.

“I know the day to say goodbye is closer than 10 years ago,” aniya.

Nasigurado rin ni Nadal ang bentahe sa ranking kay Roger Federer, gayundin sa dami ng career titles na umabot na sa 76.

“To put another trophy in my museum, in my academy, is going to be something great. This is one of the most important ones in terms of (my) personal feeling,” pahayag ni Nadal.

Sa kabilang banda, nabigo naman si Nishikori sa target na unang Masters title.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” sambit ni Nishikori. “My legs were very heavy today, playing three sets (for) three days in a row (before the final). It wasn’t easy physically.”